What does Open Campground offer?

Open Campground has been under development since early 2007 and over that time it has gone through some changes. The constant in the system is that it has maintained backward compatibility and is developed in Ruby using Ruby on Rails with MySQL used as a database for the system information.

The live system demonstration will give you a good idea of how it works and what it does. I recommend you try that for a fuller understanding of the system.

From the first production release it has had a fairly stable set of features.

  • Creating and defining rates
  • Creating and defining types of spaces to which the rates apply
  • Creating and defining spaces of the various types. Each space will have a type, rates and a name (which could be a number).
  • Creating reservations which create a camper and associate the camper with a space and a start and end date.
  • Calculating and displaying the charges for the reservation including taxes.
  • Displaying a list of reservations and a list of rigs in the park. From the reservation list you can cancel, change or check-in, from the in-park list you can checkout or change.
  • Creating group reservations which are associated with a single camper who is the wagonmaster of the group. Charges are not calculated for groups as it is assumed they may not pay the rate card rates. The group members can be checked in as a group or individually.
  • A basic set of reports such as Scheduled Arrivals and Scheduled Departures were defined.

As the system matured a large number of new features and improvements to existing features were added. Following are a number of those changes.

  • An option has been added to use a Calendar Date picker for reservations.
  • The system has been changed to display dates in the appropriate format for the local. This means that if your locale is US the dates are formatted as is normal in the US while if your locale was UK the dates would be formated as normal for the UK.
  • All displays of reservations and campers have been changed so all of the data in the display can be edited on that display.
  • Reports on occupancy and sources of recommendations (optional) have been added. The outputs are downloadable as csv files for further analysis.
  • An option has been added to use full season rates.
  • The reservation and in-park lists have been changed to display in a different color reservations that are due or overdue for action.
  • A capability to load a predefined set of site definitions, rates, reservations and campers in a development/training mode of operation was added. This data gave one something to experiment with when learning how to use the system and also gave some data to use to test the system during development.
  • Seasons were added. It was suggested that different rates are used at different times for peak season or holidays etc. so the ability to define seasons with different rates from some base rate was added.
  • The structure of the sales and room tax was changed. Now what the tax is called and how it is applied is determined when the system is set up. As many or as few taxes as needed can be defined. It should be flexible enough to handle most situations.
  • The concept of extra charges was added. Extra charges are named as desired and may be counted (as in an extra person charge) or not (as in a daily wifi charge). The rates are defined in setup.
  • A capability to backup the database and restore a backup was added.
  • An overall display of the occupancy and projected occupancy of the campground was added. It gives a color coded site by site look at when reservations start and end for all of the active sites in the park.
  • A capability to check-in a camper as soon as the reservation is completed was added. This is seen as the way to handle drive-up customers who have no advance reservation. How it works is that at the end of the reservation process, if the reservation starts today the option is given to just go to the reservation list (essentially the default display) or to check-in the camper immediately. If the reservation does not start today you just go to the reservation list at the end of the reservation process.
  • The ability to (optionally) identify the locale which consists of language and country. This will be used for labels and messages and items like currency symbols.
  • Startup scripts for both Windows and Linux were made available along with instructions on how to use them.
  • A Flash card based copy of the system was made available. This version has the same software as the downloaded version but it in addition has an installation utility (like most Windows systems) and a reconfiguration utility. This version of the system does cost.
  • The ability to define a header and trailer text that will be shown when you select the print option on the Checkin display and other similar displays has been added.
  • The optional capability to generate and send confirmation emails was added.
  • The operational (not setup etc.) portions of the system are now available in multiple languages as well as English.
  • The ability to have negative payments (refunds or corrections) has been added.
  • The capability to process payments using PayPal and CardConnect (a credit card processor) for both remote and in-office transactions
  • A remote reservation facility with payments for the reservation has been added.
  • The ability to define different rates for each day of the week has been added.
  • An ability to handle measured extra (like metered electricity) charges has been added.
  • An update facility which downloads and installs improvements and corrections to the system has been added.

Installation, features and use of the system are described in the User's Manual.